Historically, major conflict has shown to be inevitable, occurring at least every few generations. Many times, these conflicts were almost nothing like those before them. Technologies like railroad and machine guns brought radical changes to prevailing perceptions of war, and these perceptions continue to be destroyed again and again as war continues to evolve.
Experts agree that the next major war won’t be anything like wars in the past. In the past, in which the sophistication and numbers of our ships, planes, and tanks led the US to worldwide military dominance. While the US still leads in defense by far, the world is evolving quickly and unexpectedly every day, leading us into an uncertain future.
Some experts suggest the US turns to missile use to aid in its combat objectives. Combat may be moving in a direction that would require long-range offensive measures, and missiles would be perfect for this. Ståle Ulriksen, military scientist at Norway’s naval war college, weighs in on the multi-faceted nature of war and the importance of the weapons involved. But will they be enough? “I’ve come to the conclusion that the most important aspect of a weapon system isn’t necessarily the firepower,” he says, “but its resilience and robustness.”
It’s unclear how much use any particular physical weapon will help build a resilient and robust force. There are other elements that must be considered. While we have an unmatched carrier fleet, for example, its brand of warfare may be threatened by undersea threats. Unmanned technologies, such as sea-based drones with hypersonic missiles, are taking the world by storm. Unbeknownst to American forces, rapid developments in stealth technology may be able to hide entire fleets at sea.
Military dominance has long been associated with the huge armies revolutionized by Napoleon, experts are suggesting the military of the future may be operated by smaller elite forces, much like in the Knights of the Round Table of the Middle Ages. The impacts of cyberwarfare have made the US particularly vulnerable, and our current cyber capabilities are insufficient to protect against cyber penetration. In order to stand a chance in the next world war, which will likely be hugely technological, the US will need to catch up with ever-changing technologies by investing in offensive cyber capabilities, smaller platforms, drone and stealth technology, and artificial intelligence.
We need offensive cyber, elite forces, and unmanned vehicles to span combat zones from below the ocean’s surface all the way to satellite constellations. While the US military is making great strides toward increased cybersecurity, it has yet to make it a priority.
It can be awkward and intense to imagine the future of battle, but it’s necessary to consider any and all of tomorrow’s possibilities today. While the nation prepares for more favorable results in combat, it needs defense professionals, and defense professionals need a proper consultancy. While the country may need to do more to prepare its military, DSLP has the knowledge and experience needed today to help American defense industries through the wars of the future.
Korsvold, Thorstein. “What Could the Next War Look Like?” Nammo. 25 May 2020. https://www.nammo.com/story/what-could-the-next-war-look-like/
Stavridis, James and Eliot Ackerman. “Opinion: The next world war won’t be anything like the last. Here’s how the U.S. must prepare.” The Washington Post. 16 Mar. 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/03/16/next-world-war-wont-be-anything-like-last-heres-how-us-must-prepare/